People of The Living God

John 3:16

 

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January 2011



 

“NOW THE BIRTH OF JESUS WAS ON THIS WISE”

Joel Hamby, House of Prayer

        The Catholic Encyclopedia states: “The date of the birth of the Savior is unknown.”  They even state that they KNOW that Jesus’ birthday WAS NOT December 25th.  Then they proceed to say what is known about the December 25th date – that it was the day celebrated in pagan Rome as the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun God.  In Latin (the language of Rome) it was called Natilus Invicti, which is the origin of the Spanish word Navidad (birthday) – translated into English as “Christmas.”

        The reason December 25th was celebrated as the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun God was because the winter solstice occurs on December 21st and the days then begin to be longer, indicating to the sun worshippers that their Sun God is returning once more – so there is cause for celebration.

        The customs and traditions held by many peoples include the same customs practiced by the pagan sun worshippers as well as other pagan religious practices such as the German tree worship.  The Catholic Encyclopedia uses the term “Christianized” in reference to the practice of incorporating pagan customs into so–called Christian worship and tradition.

Then, the Catholic Encyclopedia says that the date of December 25 was officially selected by the Catholic Church in about 330 A.D. as the day to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  The fact of the matter is that a pagan holy day cannot be “Christianized” by merely superimposing a “Christian” name on it.  Further, it is not possible to turn a pagan holy day into a godly day at all.

Is It possible To Determine The Birth Date Of Jesus In The Bible? – Yes It Is!

        Matt. 1:18–25: “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost…And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.  Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us…And…she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.”

        This passage does not state the month and day of Jesus’ birth, but there is a clear record in the prophets and the life of Christ that enables us to determine the biblical birth date of Jesus.

        Daniel prophesies about the Messiah’s appearance as follows: Daniel 9:25–27, “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah (this is speaking of the birth or arrival of the Messiah, Jesus) the Prince shall be seven weeks…And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off (this is speaking of the death of Jesus, the Messiah), but not for himself…And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease

        This passage tells us the point in history at which the Messiah will appear on the scene.  By studying history, the specific year or time can be determined; however, most people are not interested in doing the research that is required to discover that date.  We tend to pass the matter off lightly by saying that the details of history are not that important – what really matters is that He was born.  That may be true, but the date of His birth is important.  It is important first because the Bible has something definite to say about it.  It is important, secondly, because we should not believe a lie or do things the Bible instructs against.  If the date of His birth really does not matter, why has Christmas/December 25th become such a big issue?  Why do people hang on so tightly to an unimportant day?

        In the Daniel account, the birthday of the Messiah is not mentioned, but the DEATH of the Messiah is specified.  Daniel said He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week and “in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.”  This establishes that the ministry of Jesus would last for half a week and at that point (from verse 26) He would be cut off (which is referring to His death), and He would “cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease” (which is referring to the veil being rent from top to bottom in the Holy of Holies) bringing an end to the system of sacrifices – since He is the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.

        The length of His ministry was to be half a week, or 3½ days, which in prophetic time is 3½ years.  Most people have accepted this to be factual and the biblical account is accurate.  The day–for–a–year concept is stated in Ezekiel 4:6: “And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.”

        The precise time of Jesus’ crucifixion according to the Bible was THE SAME DAY that the Passover lambs were being killed in observance of the Passover leading into the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  According to Paul in Colossians 2:16–17, the feasts and annual Sabbaths appointed by God in Leviticus 23 are shadows or pictures of events in the life of Christ and the unfolding of God’s salvation plan.

        Since it is abundantly clear that the death of Jesus exactly corresponds with the Passover, it should be no problem to find the birth of Jesus in another one of the appointed feasts.

        The next factor involved in determining the biblical date of Jesus’ birth is to determine his age at the beginning of His 3½ year ministry.  This is found in Luke 3:21, “And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli”

        Taking these biblical facts, we can now determine the birth date of Jesus.  First, Jesus was 30 years old when He began His public ministry.  Next, He ministered 3½ years, so He was 33½ years old when he was crucified on Passover.  Passover can be found on our calendars today, and it is still the same time of the year as it was when Jesus was on earth.  While the date in our Roman calendar system varies, it does not vary in God’s calendar system.  Passover is always the 14th day of the first month (Nisan/Abib).  That day is in the spring time and usually occurs in late March or early April in our Roman calendar.

        This means that Jesus was about 33½ on that date.  His birthday, then, would be six months removed from that date.  Searching the Bible for one of the feast days that God appointed that would be located approximately six months later, we find the Feast of Trumpets.  That feast day can be found on our Roman calendar today as the Jewish feast called Rosh Hashanah.  In God’s calendar, Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets) is the 1st day of the 7th month of the biblical year.  The Feast of Trumpets is the depiction of the birth of the Messiah – it announces the arrival of royalty.  In I Thess. 4:16, Paul connects trumpets with the second coming of Jesus: “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first.”  While the date of Rosh Hashanah varies on the Roman calendar, it is always the same in God’s calendar (the first day of the 7th month) – during the month of September or early October – not December 25th.

        With all this information in hand, what should we do?  According to Jesus, “you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you FREE.”  Do we want to be free – or do we want to continue in bondage to traditions of man and pagans?  Jesus also said, “Full well ye reject the commandment of God that you may follow your own traditions” and “In vain do ye worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

        So, what does all of this have to do with Christmas?  And what does it have to do with us today?  Jesus wants us to be free from bondage of all kinds.  He wants us to know the truth which will make us free, and He does NOT want us to be involved with customs and traditions that He detests.  It is clear that He detests tree–worship (Jeremiah 10).  So why not stay clear of traditions that are rooted in tree–worship instead of seeing how close we can get to the line without crossing it?

        It is clear that He detests sun–worship.  December 25th is definitely not the birthday of Jesus, and at the same time, it is definitely rooted in pagan sun–worship.  All of the customs and traditions practiced by people at this time of the year originate only in paganism – not a single one can be found in the Bible.  Yet we have been convinced to accept a lie! – that we are celebrating the birth of the Savior – when that is clearly an impossibility.

        What should we do?  If we wish to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the most important thing is for us to live our lives on a daily basis in a way that pleases Him.  Secondly, if we are going to observe a day, it should be the true day of His birth – Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets).  However, Jesus never did tell us to celebrate His birth by observing a day.  He wants us to be free – free from customs and traditions of men that bind us (gift–giving puts people in debt among other things), and free from the curse of sin.  He wants us to worship Him in spirit and truth – not in customs, traditions, and commandments of men.  Be free.  “If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”

        Jim Elliot (missionary to the Auca Indians, who was killed by them) said in 1949, “The practice at Christmas has gotten to be such a commercialized hoax that I will be sincerely glad when all good Christians abandon it.”

        On December 24, 1871, Charles Spurgeon said, “We have no superstitious regard for times and seasons.  Certainly we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmas – its observance is a superstition, because it is not of divine authority.”

        Finally, the Roman Catholic Church formulated the name “Christ–mass” which has been shortened to Christmas.  It is the mass that they celebrate on the Birthday of the Sun, which they have dubbed the birthday of the Messiah.  This is in reality a lie, since they have merely put the name “Christ” on that day.  Will you let people – even church people – force you to observe traditions that are contrary to biblical truth – or will you allow the truth to make you free?  “Buy the truth and sell it not.”

 

 

THE COMING PERSECUTION OF THE CHURCH

Thomas Parkhill

        In the 1900 plus years since Jesus walked the earth and warned His disciples they would be killed for His name, it has been estimated that over 50 million Christians have been persecuted, tortured and killed.  This started with the Romans who killed many of the disciples outright, then threw Christian women and children alive into the gladiator arena to be torn apart and eaten by lions, burned at the stake, beheaded and disemboweled.  Later, the Catholic Church, under the Spanish Inquisitors, tortured and killed thousands who would not kneel to the authority of Rome (see the Saint Bartholemew’s Day massacre).  In the Baltic countries under communist control many Christians were tortured and killed as enemies of the state.  The communist leader Mao in China single–handedly wiped out several hundreds of thousands, or millions (the exact figure is unknown), of Chinese Christians (remember Watchman Nee?) because they would not spit on the cross.  Now, can you imagine the anguished cries of those of the last 100 years who embraced the pre–tribulation rapture doctrine and faithfully expected to be snatched out of such inhuman torture only to die wondering where their God was?  (The rapture doctrine dates from 1830, approximately.  Prior to this it was unknown in the church.)

        I have seen well meaning Christians almost come to blows over their rapture doctrines, and I know first hand of whole bodies who have disfellowshipped other whole bodies of Christians over this doctrine.  So, if it is correct, why has it split the Church?  If it is right, why have millions died a horrible death expecting to be taken out at the last minute?  Let us take another view of this matter, by examining scriptures that are NOT quoted by rapture doctrinaires.

        “I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou are rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are of the synagogue of Satan.  Fear none of these things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation 10 days.  Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Rev. 2:9–10, KJV).

        This was written by John to the church of Ephesus.  Some say it was actually written to an “Ephesus type” church today.  I don’t know.  I only know Jesus (the speaker to John) here promised them prison, being tried (tortured), and having tribulation 10 days (is this 10 literal days or something else?), and then death awaited them.

        “And knew not until the flood came, and took them (the unbelievers) all away: so shall the coming of the Son of man be.  Then two shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, the other left.  Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left” (Matt. 24:39–41, KJV).

        The rapture teaching is that the men and women taken are Christian, and the ones left are the unsaved.  A book and a movie have been written with the title Left Behind (or something like it), and we see bumper stickers proclaiming that, “In case of Rapture, this car will be unattended.”  But does the Bible really teach this?  In the context of verse 39 quoted above, it seems He is talking about the end being like the Great Flood which took away the unbelievers.  Take a look at another part of Matthew, where Jesus is teaching the parable of the weeds:

        “He said unto them, An enemy hath done this (sown weeds with the wheat).  The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?  But he said nay, lest while ye gather up the tares (weeds), ye root up also the wheat with them.  Let both grow together until the harvest; and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn” (Matt. 13:28–30, KJV).

        Pressed by his disciples for an explanation, Jesus said:

        “The enemy that sowed them is the Devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.  As therefore the tares (weeds) are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of this world.  The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.  Who hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Matt. 13:39–43, KJV).

        Jesus plainly teaches that the saved and the unsaved co–exist side by side until the end, when the first to be taken out are the unsaved, and those remaining are the chosen.  So also with the two men in the field and the two women grinding, those left behind are actually Christians.

        “For the Lord himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (I Thess. 4:16–17).

        In the light of the above passages, is it possible that this event, which is often quoted as evidence of a rapture prior to tribulation, actually occurs after many have died under the hand of the Anti–christ, and God has sent His angels to gather up and destroy the perpetrators?  Are the “dead in Christ” the saints that died at the hand of the persecutors?

        Jesus and His Apostles have said this about the end of the age: “And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death” (Luke 21:16).

        “if they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20).

        “yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service” (John 16:2).

        “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (II Tim. 3:12).

        “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations” (Rev. 13:7).

        “And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus” (Rev. 17:6).

Will You Be Raptured Out Before All This?

        What do you think?  I had a waking vision in 1982, in which I saw thousands or millions of Christians who were about to be tortured and put to death, and who raised their fists to the sky and cursed God because they had not been snatched out of the jaws of death by a rapture as they had been promised by their preachers and teachers.  What an agony of my spirit which has been with me ever since.

        I believe with all my heart that the Holy Scripture teaches that we will be called on to die for His name, and I am prepared to do so.  If wrong, I will rejoice.  But if right, I am afraid I will be lonely, for few Christians believe they will suffer anymore, and if my “daydream” is correct, there will be a great turning away from God at the last day by the many who never expected to suffer.  Few will be overcomers.

        In any case, this is my rhema, or personal revelation.  I don’t know if it touches you or not.  It is not for me to know unless He wills.

 

 

JOY & TRIALS IN PERSPECTIVE

Curtis Dickinson

        Jesus made no secret about the fact that anyone who took Him and His teaching seriously would face severe trials and hard temptations.  At the same time He said of these disciples, “Blessed are you,” and promised that their joy would be “made full.”

        In the modern Christian message, the emphasis often is on joy and excitement, with very little said about the expectation of trials.  But it doesn’t take long for one to find out that Jesus wasn’t kidding when He warned of tribulation.

        The question is, how to reconcile these two conditions.  How can there be joy in the midst of grievous trials?

        The answer can be found in the example of Jesus.  In carrying out God’s purpose, He said, “I do always the things that are pleasing to my Heavenly Father” (Jno. 8:29).  When the disciples suggested that He eat, as it was past lunch time, He declined, saying, “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to accomplish his work” (Jno. 4:34).  The deepest desire of Jesus was to please the Father, and fulfilling that desire is what gave Him joy, even if, at the same time, it brought trials.

        It is this same desire, to be pleasing to our Father, that is required of those who would follow Christ.  Contrary to popular thinking, becoming a Christian is more than “whispering a prayer” and asking Jesus to “come into your heart.”  This is the promotion of “cheap grace,” a kind of discipleship of convenience.  It has filled churches with people who have never known the pain of repentance, who vacillate between love of the Father and love of the world and have yet to deny themselves in order to follow Jesus.

        This desire to please God must be supported by genuine faith, such as that found in I Peter 1:6–7: “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

        Gold becomes precious when it is purified by fire, but faith is even more precious, and therefore must be proven in the fire of various trials.  Peter says that in these trials our attitude is one of joy, even great joy.  It is a two–fold joy.

        1.  It is joy in that it is “proof” of our faith, proof in the sense of putting it to a test for the sake of purifying it, as gold is purified by fire.  Faith that is “faith only” is of no value.  In fact, James writes that faith “without works is dead in itself” (James 2:17).  Paul writes that faith which accomplishes anything is a “faith working through love” (Gal. 5:6).

        Each trial calls forth faith, that attitude of mind and heart which depends upon God, with confidence that He will enable one to endure the trial in faithfulness.  By the exercise of faith in obedience it is strengthened, so that one is prepared for even greater trials.  The more we live to please the Father, the more we are at odds with the world, and the more severe the trials become, the more precious will be the faith that is growing.  The trials are always present and continue throughout life.  Yet, the Lord gives us seasons of refreshing, and there is an undercurrent of peace and joy that the world cannot know, because it is a joy that is created by our harmony with the Father.

        The person who refuses to endure the trials is also refusing the growth and joy of this harmony.  So, when we follow Christ, we accept the pain of growth and change.  The discipline He demands or gives is severe, but with it comes His love and strong help, and in the end, immortality and great reward.

        Contrary to what some think and preach, Christ does not offer a life of what the world calls happiness and success.  His kind of happiness is unrecognizable to the world.  It goes deeper, far below the surface, down below the pain and visible trauma, a happiness unseen and undefined.  Nevertheless, it is the real joy and peace that enables one to live without anxiety and fear, and which fills one with a deep sense of thanksgiving and praise.

        2.  Joy is the natural result of accomplishing one’s purpose.  In the case of a Christian, that purpose is to do the Father’s will, and this often done in the midst of bitter trials.

        With Jesus, there was never a doubt that obedience to the Father would result in the ultimate good.  It caused Him severe opposition, criticism, and death, but it pleased His Father, and that was what He desired more than all else.

        Our age has been warped with Freudian psychology.  We want every trial and temptation subjected to a psychological analysis before we decide what to do about it.  We want to ask why trials come, why we are tempted, how good can come from suffering and how much of it we should endure.  What is needed is not the psychology to figure out our strengths and weaknesses and all the personality in between.  What is needed is for us to submit ourselves to God and to the doing of His will.  If that is our desire, then joy will be produced in obedience, regardless of the price one has to pay.  If pleasing God is not the highest priority, then the profession of Christ will be empty and each trial will only produce distress and sorrow.

        Without a doubt, the hardest trial for Jesus was to submit to the horrible death of crucifixion.  Yet, it is recorded that He, “for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame” (Heb. 12:2).  Think of the apostles who were imprisoned for proclaiming the gospel, but were “rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for His Name” (Acts 5:41).

        The book of Revelation is used by some for no other purpose than to instill fear in the minds of believers.  Much prophetic preaching dwells on the notion of a future tribulation (ignoring the murder of some 60 million people by Communists), the horrors of an antichrist ruler, etc.  Certainly Revelation describes in figurative and symbolic terms the role of evil men and governments, but few seem to realize that it is one of the most joyful and “songful” books in the Bible.  John, the writer, keeps hearing song after song – always songs of praise, thanksgiving, and joy (e.g. 4:11, 5:9–10, 12, 14, 7:10–12, 11:16–18, 14:3, 15:3, 19:6–8).  Note the song in Chapter 12, verses 10–12:

        “Now is come the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ; for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, who accuseth them before our God day and night.  And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb, and because of the word of their testimony: and they loved not their life even unto death.  Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and ye that dwell in them.”

        Here is a picture of Christians constantly tempted by satan and persecuted because of their faith, but who love Christ more than they love life.  This is cause for rejoicing; “Therefore rejoice.”

        Peter tells us that these trials are only “for a little while.”  This is a wonderful contrast to the inheritance reserved for God’s people.  The new creation will be forever.

        What’s more, being faithful in the trials will “result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”  After His resurrection from the dead, Jesus was crowned with glory and honor (Heb. 2:9), and obtained a place in the new creation for us, a place of glory and honor.  Note that this is not to be realized at the time of death, but “at the revelation of Jesus Christ;” that is, when He comes again to raise all the dead and give life and immortality to the redeemed.

        The secret of putting trials in proper perspective was well known by Job, when he said, “But He knows the way I take; when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job. 23:10).

        What God intends to make of us is so magnificent!  So glorious!  It is worth everything – the pain, trials, tears – even our very lives.  In fact, that’s just what it takes!  Then He will make us more than we can imagine or dream we could ever be.

        In fact, He has already started the process, and the most satisfying vocation is to participate in the progress of His work.

 

 

THE LAST TIMES?

Randall Walton

        Here it is 2011 already!  Time is certainly getting more and more precious as the days roll by.  If anyone has any doubts about time flying away, it would be well for them to search the Scriptures and see for themselves that we are in “the last days,” as spoken by none other than Jesus of Nazareth, and also the writings of the New Testament.

        Jesus pointed out in Matthew the 24th chapter some of the aspects which occur during the last days which we see occurring at the present time and for which there is amazingly so little concern about the future.  Over and over He warned of deceivers: “Take heed that no man deceive you” (verse 4).”And shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake” (verse 9).  “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many” (verse 11). “Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house” (verse 17).  “Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes” (verse 18).  “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (verse 21).  “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (verse 24).  “So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors” (verse 33).

        Notice, if you will, that there is no place in these words of Jesus for a rapture or a secret carrying away of the saints at any time!  There can be no such a gathering of God’s people at any time.  People refer to the verses which say, “Then shall two be in the field, the one shall be taken, and the other left.  Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left” (verses 40 & 41).  It is a fact that as it was in Noah’s day, those that were taken were the evil men and women who rebelled against God and refused to heed His warning of disaster.  The Judgment of Almighty God was upon those wicked people, and they were taken away by the floods of water.  Those who were left were the eight souls who feared God and put all their faith in His ability to preserve them in the ark.

        It is truly amazing that so many people today expect to be “raptured” out before the great tribulation begins, but that is not the message of Matthew 24!  God will provide for His own and will preserve them through the tribulation in various places throughout the land.  But remember, there will be a time of trouble and persecution and tribulation for God’s people as the world turns against them.  They will no doubt blame the servants of God for all the troubles and hard times which will come upon them, and will attempt to overthrow them by coming against them.

        Our God is still on His Throne and will show Himself mighty to save and protect His people.  However, that doesn’t mean that there won’t be hardship and trouble, but God will protect and watch over His people no matter what the circumstances may be.  Our God is a mighty fortress, and we should not be afraid nor fear what shall befall us, for He is able to deliver us from all of the attacks that the enemy will bring against us.  Praise Him!

        Jesus was not alone in His encouraging remarks that He made concerning the time just prior to His coming.  Evidently those men who wrote the rest of the New Testament were well acquainted with perils both in and out of the church circles, but they were not afraid to die for the cause for which they stood.  While it is true that they were not perfect, it is also true that they stood steadfast in the knowledge that Jesus Christ had called them to follow Him, to uphold His basic goodness and congeniality, to constantly declare the word of the Lord as a mighty sword which penetrated the hardness of heart of the lowliest member of His divine family.

        He, Jesus, had told them earlier to “preach the Word,” to declare the right and the authority of the kingdom of the living God, and to tell the hearers of the word that the Word of God was inexhaustible, mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, and honoring Jesus Christ as the true shepherd of the fold.  There were no excuses nor apologies upon their lips, for God honored His own Spirit to abide within them and to bless their activities wherever they went.  Tradition tells us that all, except Bro. John, became martyrs for the name of Jesus Christ, that they gave themselves willingly to die for the cause of the Lord as they pressed into the glories of that Heavenly realm.

        To the saints at Thessalonica Paul wrote, “Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.  For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.  And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost” (I Thess. 1:3–6).

        They had much direction of the Spirit of God, but they weren’t turned aside by carnality, as were the saints (Corinthians) when Paul addressed them (Corinth).  These folks were ready for the leading of God into higher heights and deeper depths.  They needed for Paul to stay on there, but he was so busy that he left them there.

        The writer of Hebrews had a vivid view of the plan of God, also.  He exalted Jesus tremendously and gave Him high marks of obedience for the gifts and callings of God.  From the first three verses to the last six verses of Chapter 13 it is a wonderful and glorious show of dignity and powerful persuasion of Jesus’ authority and ability to do all things, whatever the issue mighty bring.  “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds; Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.”

        There can be no greater glory than that of being able to sit on the right hand of the Majesty on High!  Such a position signifies to us of the verity, the absolute greatness and infallible goodness of Jesus Christ, that He has the full and complete complicity of worthiness to rule and reign NOW as He sits on the RIGHT hand of the Majestic fullness of reality and rule of the earth and its inhabitants.  He has complete control over every condition and situation, even though it looks as if He has gone away on a long trip!  No, He allows us to take our own time in everything regarding our eternal salvation.

        The day will come when He will surely post His final judgment, and it will be shown in that day that He was just, fair, that He gave everyone an equal chance to prove himself or herself.

        The eleventh chapter of Hebrews, 33 to 40, sums up the men and women of faith: “Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.  Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (of whom the world was not worthy) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.  And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.”  “that they without us should not be made perfect”!  How great and how wonderful were all those good folks who went before us.  To think that they, without us, were not made perfect!  The grace so freely given by the Holy Ghost (and fire) was never taken away from those poor folks.  It was a glad day for them and they have certainly prospered much through their suffering and pain!

        Now, we are wondering: is this the prescribed program for these last times?  Is this the end of the line for the followers of Jesus Christ?  According to statistics, there will be many martyrs who have not yielded themselves to the tyranny of the system of man.  To these we hold a special place of marked esteem and judicial acclaim.  May God completely bless and care for them throughout the coming days.

        Remember, also, the message of Jesus Christ is totally complete in the good book we call the Bible.  Every word, every phrase, every thought known to man is summed up in the verse from John 12:48: “the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day”!  Amen!

 

 

SIGNS AND TRENDS OF THE TIMES

Randall Walton

        According to Jesus the period of time preceding His second coming would parallel both the days, or times, of Noah and of Lot.  In both instances, there was a deluge of violence and sexual immorality.  These two areas of behavior were so important as to warrant the total destruction of the inhabitants of the land with the exception of a small remnant in each case.

        That God would use such extreme measures to cleanse the earth of its wickedness and filth lets us know something of the depths of people pollution.  And that God in His foreknowledge foresaw the conditions in the last days as being equal to the past lets us know that destruction, calamity, and catastrophe are soon to come on a world–wide scale.

        It is difficult to imagine Noah’s and Lot’s day being worse than the present time.  The world is filled with such heinous hatred, both along racial and ethnic lines as well as within and among people of the same nationality.  Violence is usually the result of unbridled hatred for others or some object.  It may be entirely impersonal, i.e., a person may vent his hatred for a regime, or a cause, or a race without even knowing his victim’s identity.  A well–known example is A. Hitler’s bitter hatred for Jews, not any certain Jew, but for all of them.  And his hatred was contagious among those who mingled with him.

Violence In America

        U.S. News & World Report states that one out of every three violent crimes is committed by teenagers (9/18/10).  This figure is expected to double within the next 15 years.  Violent crimes are those which are carried out by use of firearms or other weapons of death.  Gang warfare is on the increase, and gangs are now made up of both boys and girls.

        An article in Reader’s Digest, August 1995, relates that crime is becoming more violent.  In the past thirty years a person’s chance of being a victim of crime increased 280%, while the odds of becoming a victim of violent crime increased 460%!

Sexual Immorality

In both Noah’s and Lot’s times, sexual immorality was an accepted way of life.  People’s sense of value was so warped and twisted that right and wrong were indistinguishable.

        It is most evident that people today are sex–crazed.  This is the motivating factor in practically every aspect of society, the prime mover, the reason for living for many people.  Sexual activity is addictive, especially if it is illicit, that is, pre– or extra–marital.  And it is paraded by the media as if any and all sexual activity is normal.

        Perverted sensual appetites have been displayed for so long and so often that people have lost all respect for that which is pure, clean and holy.

        When God created mankind, He made them male and female and gave them a clear mandate to populate the earth.  His words were: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they (a man and his wife [not wives]) shall be one flesh” (Gen. 2:24).

        This, then, is God’s order: one man, one woman.  Any deviation from this order is wrong, immoral, ungodly.  But this has always been a problem with men and women, especially with those who do not know God.

        However, the greater sin is committed by those who claim to know Him yet insist on living loosely.

        Everything that God has ordained, man has succeeded in abusing, changing, and substituting for, everything from the Sabbath to sex.  Men have tried polygamy and bigamy; women have practiced polyandry, and both have turned to their own sex to flaunt their independence and defiance against God’s directive.

Adultery And Fornication

        Adultery usually refers to a sexual encounter between two consenting persons, who are not married to each other, for the purpose of gratification without the encumbrance of commitment, and it involves the normal sexual relationship.

        Fornication is any kind of sexual sin, of which there are many.  Included in this would be voyeurism, exhibitionism, and other forms of suggestive involvement.

Homosexuality

        This is the abnormal practice of a sexual act between two persons of the same sex.  This is a most disgusting alternative to the physical union which God ordained.  This was the sin for which God destroyed Sodom, Gomorrha, and the cities of the Jordan plain.  It amounts to a slap in God’s face, as if He didn’t know what He was saying when He ordered marriage for opposites.

        We are sickened by the present attempts of the homosexuals to include in their ranks some of the time–honored historical figures of renown, such as Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, J. Edgar Hoover, etc.  This is an effort to draw some kind of legitimacy, respectability, and acceptability to this demon inspired, hellish, God–bashing practice.

        We were shocked to learn that the NEA (National Education Association) recently voted to make October the “Gay and Lesbian Recognition Month” in all the public schools.  The NEA is the Union which represents the thousands of teachers who are employed in the public school systems.  This is the organization which wants the legal right to teach four and five year olds “sex education.”  Kids are being taught that homosexuality is an acceptable alternative lifestyle.  But it is not acceptable in God’s eyes.  God is totally opposed to this perversion and promises that those who are involved in such relationships cannot inherit the kingdom of God (I Cor. 6:9,10; Rom. 1:18–32).

Decadence Is Growing

        The cup of iniquity is nearly filled to the brim and is about ready to spill over.  We wonder how much more vile man can become before God says, “It Is Enough.”

        We were recently sent a catalog of videos which contains many of the “good” movies of the forties, fifties, and sixties.  But in the middle of the catalog are about 10 pages of videos which are so salacious that we wonder how the book was sent through the mail.  There used to be a law against sending prurient materials via U.S. mail.  Evidently that law was too old–fashioned.

        Most of the pornographic videos are depicted with views taken from the actual video and are described in language too lewd to include in this paper.  Amazingly, most of these videos are unrated as to content.  A few are rated R, but most have no rating at all.  Forty years ago (or less) none of this would have been done, which only corroborates our claim that society, religion, and government are on a downward slippery slide heading for a calamitous collision with disaster.  God is not obligated to bless nor protect a nation nor the world which is corrupt to its very core and boasts about its supposed greatness.

        Humanity has defied God and His word through its ungodly behavior and blasphemous teachings.  The doctrine of evolution, for example, is a proclamation that God is not real and the Bible is a book of fables and legend.  When viewed from the perspective of evolution, man is but an animal, a somewhat refined variety, but still animal.  And since animals mate indiscriminately, why shouldn’t mankind also?  This is the logical, natural conclusion one is forced to come to if evolution is an acceptable hypothesis.

        This, then, nullifies the standards of right versus wrong, a belief that has gripped the consciences of vast multitudes of people.  This is the philosophy which is being taught in the schools and universities.  This also helps to explain why the Christian religion has come to be looked upon as a big joke, and the words and commands of Jesus relegated to the heap of refuse.

        This is not to say that there are not sufficient churches and plenteous religion in the world: we are speaking here of quality.  Many of the mainline religious institutions apparently do not frown upon adultery and homosexuality.  They may not promote sin, but neither do they disapprove nor forbid it.  When known homosexuals are allowed to participate in religious activities and even to officiate as deacons, pastors and ministers, you can be sure we are on the very verge of virtual disintegration.

        God has sounded His warning loud and clear: the inhabitants of Noah’s day perished because of their violence and sexual misconduct; the sinners of Sodom and Gomorrha were annihilated because of their vicious violence and sexual perversion which is known as Sodomy or homosexuality.  God says it is not an acceptable alternative lifestyle.  Who among men has the unmitigated gall to say it is?!  Shame on our government to embrace and coddle those whose actions are precipitating the awful judgment and wrath of the living God.  Double shame on those institutions which claim to represent the God of heaven and which put their stamp of approval upon that which God has categorically condemned!  Let us not think that God will excuse them.

        Violence and sexual immorality are on the increase!  Cities are fast becoming cesspools of unleashed hatred and sexual degradation.  The whole milieu is saturated with the ungodly activity of demon–inspired, anti–God, anti–Bible philosophies.

        Saints of God, the time is near when you may be forced to flee from your homes and places of residence.  It is quite possible that the flood of terror and ruthlessness will become so great that you cannot survive, physically or spiritually, in your present locale.  Listen carefully for the “still, small voice” of the Master who will lead those who are willing to be led, for “as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man” (Luke 17:20).

 

 

“UNTIL HE BE TAKEN OUT OF THE WAY”

II Thess. 2:7

Randall Walton

This verse from Paul’s letter has been the object of several interpolations, most of which are used to bolster the idea of a secret catching away of the church before disaster sets in.  Our title above is only a part of the verse; the full context is as follows: “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.”

        The word “he” is usually said to refer to the church; it is commonly stated that the church will “be taken out of the way,” and then the antichrist will be revealed and smite the earth with the great tribulation.

        The premise is made that the church these many centuries has been a potent force standing in the way of complete disintegration of society, and that at the proper time it will be removed from the earth with the terrifying result of carnage and chaos.

        There are several things amiss about this assumption.  First of all, it is unscriptural.  Nowhere in the Bible is it stated that the church has been or would ever be a prevention of crimes and disorder.  A light to the world, yes!  But a crimestopper?  No!

        Another point to consider is the use of the masculine personal pronoun “he.”  The church is not referred to as masculine at all.  It is either feminine (wife, bride, she) or neuter (it).  The usage of gender is not always an element of proof in a given argument, but it could possibly lend some weight to the subject.  To further illustrate this, consider the verse in question as it appears in an actual Greek text:

        “For the mystery of lawlessness is already working; only [there is] he who restrains at present until out of [the] midst he be [gone].”  The idea of masculinity appears to be somewhat stronger in this translation.  Indeed, we may infer that the “he” refers to a much greater power or force than the church has ever been or could be!

Who Is “He”?

        The prophet Daniel left us a graphic description of an event in the life of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of ancient Babylon.  The following is taken from Daniel 4:31,32: “while the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee.  And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.”

        The Most High who rules in the kingdom of men does so unobtrusively and without great fanfare.  He allows mankind a great deal of latitude in his own affairs and only intervenes when it is necessary in order to preserve and protect the human race from total self destruction.

        Jesus declared that He Himself possessed ALL authority in heaven and in earth (Matt. 28:18).  He is the great restrainer who holds back the powers–that–be until the precise moment for the antichrist to come forth.  Jesus is in charge and is in control.  His plans and purposes will surely come to pass, because He has the ability and the authority to accomplish them.  He will permit the antichrist (the man of sin) to carry out a short program of his own, which is doomed to failure, but he will not be allowed to act until the proper time.

        Does this mean then that Jesus will forsake His people here upon the earth?  Or does it presuppose that they will all be raptured out (removed from the earth)?  It means neither of those speculative ideas.

        Jesus promised that “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matt. 28:20).  He will not forsake His own.  He will cease restraining the take–over of evil, but will not abandon His sheep!  The ministry of Jesus to the church is through the work and power of the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete (one who walks alongside).  “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you FOREVER” (John 14:16).  Of the Holy Spirit’s work and influence, Jesus had this to say:

        He is a teacher; He leads and guides; He reminds the believer of Jesus’ words; He shows of future events; He gives believers the right words to speak; He testifies of Jesus; He reproves.

        The book of Acts details the ministry of the Holy Ghost in the early church, leading, directing, speaking, comforting, helping, revealing the will of God, empowering the saints to walk with God.  This work of the Spirit in the midst of the church will not cease, but the restraining influence against evil in the world will end in order that the antichrist may come forth.  God will provide places of protection for His people during that time of terror, and a great work will be accomplished among the people of God.

        It is imperative that the followers of Jesus Christ prepare themselves for that day – spiritually, and materially.  Extreme famine will help to pave the way for the introduction of the antichrist who will claim to have the final solution to mankind’s problems.  Let us take advantage of the comparative ease of this present hour and make all the necessary preparations while we may.  “The night cometh when no man can work.”

 

 

THE WORD OF GOD

Harry R. Miller

        Confusion is not in the Word of God; but it is a product of the misinterpretation of the Sacred pages.  The Bible is not an ordinary book.  The Great Creator of space, matter, and living creatures gave man, through the Bible, a masterpiece of literature and wisdom.

        The literary style of the Scripture is such that its message is often clothed in secret code, which is only intelligible to the initiated.  Had the Lord so planned, He most assuredly could have written a book of very plain speech for the wayfaring man, but He purposely had it written in an assortment of mystical characters and symbols.

        Even the most casual observer realizes that these cryptic parts of the written Word must be interpreted.  To take every statement to be a literal fact would strain the imagination of the most gullible.  Human interpretation of mystical things is the basis of all error.  If men would be satisfied to stand upon the PLAIN words of the Lord Jesus they would not become victims of their own imaginations.

        “The secret things belong unto the Lord our God” (Deut. 29:29).  In the Scriptures there are many things which are “hidden,” and “sealed.”  In due season these things are revealed, but when men try, by human reasoning, to unlock these mysteries of the Lord, they only fall into darkness and disillusionment.

        The parables are fine types of “dark speech.”  For men to push these things too far by interpretation would be to mar the truth.  The Psalms are also revelations of God, but in the language of the poet they cannot be taken as “plain speech.”  In Galatians we read of an “allegory” (chapter 4, verse 24).  This is also a dark saying.

        The most confusing works of Scripture are the revelations given by vision.  The book of Revelation is an inexhaustible field for the ingenuity of vain commentators.  The first verse of this book should be warning enough to all expositors: “He SIGNIFIED it.”  Here is a book of SIGNS.  Here men should “rightly divide the Word of truth” by making a difference between the plain speech and the speech in SIGNS.

        Joseph said, “interpretations belong unto God” (Gen. 40:8).  For man to delve into these secret things is not only foolish but can be a rank display of the impudence of a proud and self–willed spirit.  To such, the Word of God becomes a snare and a delusion, for through the Word they fall prey to their own vanity.

        To rightly divide the Word is to know the difference between PLAIN SPEECH and that which must be interpreted.  The PLAIN WORDS of Jesus and the apostles are always a safe basis for any doctrine.  that conflict or confuse the PLAIN WORDS of our Lord are false Doctrines, and their foundation is upon the sand of human interpretation.  Beware of this “leaven of the Scribes and Pharisees.”

 

 

THE POWER & DANGER OF UNBELIEF

Alda Scullin

        God is and has been building a church; a church built upon a rock, against which, Jesus said, “the gates of hell shall not prevail” (Matt. 16:18).  The Scriptures show very plainly that the rock is Christ.  He is the chief cornerstone, THE foundation (I Cor. 10:4, 3:11; Eph. 2:20–22).  Any individual’s house founded upon this rock will not fall before the rain, the floods or the winds that blow and beat upon it (Mat. 7:24,25).  Such an individual is one who HEARS the WORDS of Jesus AND DOES them.  Such individuals are living stones being built into a temple, a holy habitation of God.

        Furthermore, unto this church He gave the keys of His Kingdom and its power, saying, “Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven” and “whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matt. 16:19).  Jesus demonstrated the power of His Kingdom when He walked on earth and by His death purchased for us, not only redemption, but the right to the authority of His Kingdom and all of its power.

        He entered the strong man’s house and spoiled his goods.  He made powerless him who had the power of death, that is the devil (Matt. 12:28,29; Heb. 2:44).  When the seventy returned, they said, “Lord, even the devils are subject to us through Thy name.”  He said to them, “Behold, I give unto you power…over ALL the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 10:17–19).

        “He spoiled principalities and powers and made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Col. 2:15).  He rose triumphant over death and has the keys of hell and of death (Rev. 1:18).  He said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth…and lo, I am with you always even unto the end of the world” (Matt. 28:20).

        Why, in the face of all of these words of Jesus and His apostles, do present day Christians deny their God–given authority over all the power of Satan and relegate power back to this enemy who is seeking to overthrow God’s plan for those who believe?  Could it be the same unbelief that caused Israel to fail?  Instead of believing what Jesus said, multitudes prefer to believe the false shepherds and such arch–enemies of Jesus as Dr. Scofield, whose notes found under Matthew 11 proclaim that Jesus postponed His Kingdom until a time still in the future.  In so doing, they also postpone the binding of Satan which Jesus has accomplished  (Mark 3:27; Luke 11:20–22).  Why is it easier to accept the doctrines inspired of hell than to accept the words of Jesus and the apostles?

        Jesus purposely took upon himself the “seed of Abraham” in order to deliver us from the kingdom of darkness and translate us into His Kingdom with all of its glory, power and authority which should be now manifested through His people, His church.  Why isn’t it?  Unbelief is the only logical answer.

        Unbelief is the product of carnality.  “The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God neither indeed can be.”  “To be carnally minded is death”, or as the margin reads, “the minding of the flesh” is death (Rom. 8:6,7).  The carnal mind cannot be converted.  It will always be opposed to God!  It will never believe; it is an instrument of unbelief, and therefore, it must be denied and put to death.  It is with the HEART that man believes unto righteousness (Rom. 10:10).  As long as one walks according to the carnal mind he will fall easy prey to the wiles of the devil.  With the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, the carnal mind, or flesh, can be overcome and the influence of evil defeated.

        There are two forces at work among men: the love of God versus the delusions of Satan.  God’s love appeals to the heart of man; the subtle deceptions of the devil appeal to the flesh.

        Why walk as victims of evil forces when we have been made kings and priests unto God by Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood (Rev. 1:5,6)?  Many have been deluded into believing that the devil is a foe to be feared.  Jesus died to deliver us from the fear of death.  Death was the realm over which Satan had power because of sin (Heb. 2:15).  The shedding of Jesus’ blood and His triumph over death purchased for His followers the right to the authority of His Kingdom over all the forces of hell.  Satan trembles at the mention of the blood of Jesus.  He understands its power, though few Christians seem to.  The name of Jesus is above all names, and in His name we have authority as heirs of God and joint–heirs with Jesus Christ.

        Satan’s greatest asset is the doubting human heart.  The carnal desires are fed by the insidious lies and influence of hell so that even the “Christian” world falls prey to believing they can enjoy both the pleasures of this earth and those of the Spirit of God.

        Human nature is no different today than it was from Adam’s time to this.  Adam and Eve were drawn to the forbidden fruit by their carnal desire and seduced to disobey God’s command by the doubt the serpent cast upon God’s word.  They did not believe God.  Ancient Israel left a history of such disobedience because of unbelief that “The wrath of the Lord arose against His people till there was no remedy” (II Chron. 36:16).  In spite of the miraculous healings and even raising of the dead done by Jesus, FEW believed He was the Son of God.  In this generation of the end time, unbelief is still rampant.  The “Christian” world does not accept Jesus as King.  Neither did ancient Israel nor the Jews of New Testament days.  As in the parable of Luke 19:14, they say, “We will not have this man to reign over us.”  He is accepted as Saviour and as their COMING King.

        It is generally taught that the thousand–year period spoken of in Rev. 20:2 is in the future and that at THAT time Satan will be bound, but according to Jesus and the apostles he was bound when Jesus walked on the earth.  Jesus spoke of entering the strong man’s house and spoiling his goods and taking his armor (Mk. 3:27; Luke 11:20–22).  He demonstrated His authority over demons (Luke 4:33–36) and gave that authority to His followers as in the scriptures previously mentioned.

        He said He had finished all that the Father had sent Him to do.  His death on the cross was, as it were, God’s seal upon it.  “It is finished,” He cried.  The price was paid for man to be redeemed.  Then a loud voice proclaimed, “NOW is come salvation (but that was not all) AND strength and the Kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ” (Rev. 12:9–11).  When Jesus died many things changed.  Satan was cast out into the earth.  He could no longer come into the council chamber of heaven and accuse the brethren as he did Job.  And they (the brethren) are able to overcome (subdue, conquer) him (Satan) by he blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.”

        The results of believing or not believing can be found in Rev. 21:7,8.  “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

        “But the fearful and unbelieving…shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

        Now is the time to choose whom we shall believe, before it is too late.

 

 

TARGET: KIDS!

Randall Walton

        While the general populace has been sleeping, subversive elements have been hard at work planning to make robots out of your children.  In a veiled scheme which came into being in the early sixties, the academic standards of the United States began a downward slide which is still going on.

        The slide is known by several different monikers, such as Goal 2000, America 2000, OBE and “dumbing–down,” all of which refer to the same departure from America’s well–known traditional education system.

        The objective of the proponents of this inferior learning system is the eventual control of young minds in a socialistic society run by atheistic professionals who are determined to outwit and overthrow God.

        Children are and have been targeted for this program because they are young and pliable.  Adolf Hitler used similar tactics in his subjugation of the German masses.  It is difficult to reeducate the older citizens of a nation, but through chicanery and devious methods, kids can be molded to accept teachings which are contrary to their parents’ beliefs.

        Now, if this sounds as if we think there is and has been a conspiracy going on to captivate children through the education process, it’s because we do think so.  The evidence points to this very thing.

        In a video which we viewed lately called, “Who Is In Control Of The Children?” the program, known by the present administration as Goals 2000, was investigated and explained.  Known as Outcome Based Education (OBE), it revolves around self–esteem and personal attitude.  Academics, per se, are not stressed.  Every child is considered an achiever because, in each given class, grades are averaged among the group so that there are no superior learners, nor are there any failures.

        This very expensive system teaches collectivism rather than individual progress.  Children are known as “human resource material,” where behavioral attitudes and “values clarification” become the main thrust of the teaching(?) agenda.

        The curriculums are, of course, governed by the federal government through its finance policy.  Those states which accept the federal guidelines receive financial aid.  Those who don’t – don’t.

        The plan, or goal, is to include every child, every school, every teacher in this unsavory and godless system; all public, private, parochial and home–schools are expected to conform to the mandates and programs of this hideous uneducational arrangement.  To bring this about, the authorities intend to require every teacher in the U.S. (including mothers or others who home–school) to be certified by the state in which they reside.

        All schools will be subject to an audit and review of their curriculum to make sure they conform to the Goal.  The idea is, of course, control.  Education is not the goal.

        Modern textbooks have rewritten much of American history in order to put this country in as bad a light as possible.  Patriotism has become old–fashioned and quaint.  Instead of God, the Creator of all things, children are taught that they are the by–product of an inferior genus who was forced through circumstance to better himself, shed his tail, develop feet without thumbs, and stop living in trees!

        In all truth, it takes a lot of dumbing–down to accept evolution as anything other than a fitful fancy of a deranged mind.  Logic tells us that if evolution were a fact, then we human beings are no different from animals; while we may have a somewhat higher intellect than they, we are without a conscience – we are not subject to the standard of right versus wrong.  Or, in other words, there are no real rights nor wrongs.

        Sound like modern ethics?  Of course, this is the logical and normal outcome or conclusion of evolution.  And while many people seem to be living like monkeys, we don’t believe they are really descendants.

        We have been forewarned in the word of God that the time will come when there will be one worldwide government which will exercise power over all of mankind who submit themselves.  “And he causeth all, both SMALL and great.”  We may safely conclude that the small, the children, are being targeted as potential victims of the vicious and vile humanistic hubris posing as the friend of the little people.

        As important as education is, it pales when compared to knowing and walking with God.  Let us encourage you parents to protect your children from the demonic influence found in most secular learning circles today where the Bible is ridiculed, Jesus Christ is crucified anew, sexual perversion is claimed to be an acceptable alternative lifestyle, abortion is heralded as a decent means of birth–control, and condoms are freely distributed.

        The move toward a centralized world power is imminent and disturbing, partly because it means the giving up of national sovereignty, but also because it means the day of absolute tyranny by the great beast system is close at hand.  Children’s minds are being cheated from receiving a sound education; they are being influenced away from God, the Bible, the home and family, and are being taught that this is the best way.

        It is a matter of control.  Either you, the parent, will control the child through proper teaching, through prayer, and living an exemplary life before him, or someone else will.